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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Candace Y.A. Montague

D.C. HIV/AIDS Examiner


Working Group for Women and HIV Falls Far Below Radar
April 5, 2012

Here's a story that you're probably not hearing much about. But I cannot remain silent on it. Allow me to make some noise for a moment. Last month during PACHA's meeting on women and girls, the White House established a crucial working group for women and girls and HIV, a timely move for a movement that has been focused on gay men for many years.

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AIDS Activists Arrested for Protesting Ban on Federal Funded Syringe Exchange
March 22, 2012

Nearly 30 activists were arrested while protesting the ban on federally funded syringe exchange programs yesterday. A total of 75 activists gathered at the US Capitol to participate in a chained 'sit-in' at the offices of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Eric Cantor (R-VA). Yesterday was the National Day of Action when many non-profit organizations asked their supporters to voice their opposition to the ban. The arrested protestors represented Housing Works, Health Gap, and Harm Reduction Coalition. They were detained for 14 hours and released just after midnight.

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Dr. Grant Colfax Appointed as New Director of ONAP
March 15, 2012

The White House announced yesterday that Dr. Grant Colfax, a San Francisco based research scientist, will be the new director of the Office Of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). Dr. Colfax has 20 years of experience in HIV/AIDS care and research including developing interventions that reduce new infections among substance abuse populations. He will replace Jeff Crowley who resigned in last November.

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The Testimony of Hazel Smith: An HIV-Positive Woman
March 8, 2012

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was Saturday, March 10th. Instead of providing lots of statistics and dropping names of educational programs, which is always helpful, I've decided to provide a profile of HIV/AIDS from the perspective of a woman who is actually living with the virus. It doesn't get anymore "aware" than that.

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The Testimony of Hazel Smith: An HIV-Positive Woman, Part Two
March 8, 2012

Hazel Smith is an HIV positive woman who is the quintessential survivor. She went through hell, hurt people who loved her along the way yet somehow made it back. In the past, she may have been viewed as a villain or maybe even a victim of society. She is the victor now. This is not a story about shame and blame. It's an honest conversation about how ending the AIDS epidemic takes more than condoms, billboards and awareness days. It's going to take conquering social ills, economic woes, and policy struggles as well.

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New Documentary About Church and HIV Coming Soon
March 5, 2012

This week is the National Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS. The church has always been a staple in the Black community. It is the source of inspiration, comfort, and support. But the Black church has also been criticized for ignoring the AIDS crisis and fostering stigma. AIDS activists believe that the church could be one of the main sources for turning the tide on the epidemic. Now a new documentary hopes to shed a positive light on churches that are working to end the epidemic.

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I, Too, Am Black History: Bayard Rustin
February 13, 2012

Since this is Black History Month, I would be remiss if I didn't highlight some of the African-American LGBT pioneers who paved the way for equality and acceptance. What does this have to do with AIDS? It's simple. Stigma comes from ignorance. Stigma drives hate and forces people to conceal their true selves and their struggles (such as with HIV). Stigma can lead people to engage in unhealthy and risky behaviors behind closed doors. So in order to demolish stigma, we need more education. During the month of February I will implant a few lessons for my readers about some great members of the African-American LGBT community who lived out loud. They were trailblazers. Fierce, outstanding, unapologetic, and courageous people who simply would not take "no" for answer.

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AIDS Activists Face Prosecution for Chanting
February 13, 2012

Ten months, five court appearances, three prosecutors, and one U.S. Attorney. This is the backdrop of an excessively lengthy court battle over activists exercising their right to protest a cut in needle exchange funding. A group of AIDS activists have been misled into thinking that a few hours of community service and drug testing would absolve them of charges of misdemeanor trespassing. Now they are facing trial and six months in jail. How harshly should someone be punished for exercising his or her first amendment right to free speech? The answer to that question apparently varies from person to person.

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Abstract Writing Workshop at DOH
February 8, 2012

The International AIDS Conference will be here in July. It is my greatest wish to get as many of my readers there as possible (especially those of you who live with HIV). One great way to be there is to be a presenter. There is a very informative abstract writing workshop that is coming up at HAHSTA on this Friday. It promises to be just one hour long. Please make an effort to get there and learn whatever you can about submitting an abstract for a potential workshop. Here's the info straight from HAHSTA to you.

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New Documentary About Blacks and AIDS Set to Premiere at IAC
February 8, 2012

If you're still buzzing from National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, have I got news for you. The Dream Factory, a local multimedia production company, is currently working on a a movie about Blacks and HIV called 13 Percent. In this documentary, warriors who are on the front line in the battle against HIV speak candidly about the virus, their experiences, and what it will take to defeat AIDS within the black population. The production will debut during the International AIDS Conference in July and will be the talk of the conference (you heard it here first).

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See Also
HIV/AIDS in the Mid-Atlantic

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Candace Y.A. Montague

Candace Y.A. Montague

Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.

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